Marriott has continued to promote its elite benefit guarantees despite suspending them during the pandemic. The key elements are,
- Reservation guarantee. If they walk you they pay for your night’s accommodation elsewhere and pay you $100-$200 and up to 140,000 points.
- Room type guarantee. If your reserved room and bed preferences aren’t met in the U.S. and Canada they owe you $35 – $100 (Titanium and Ambassador members receive this outside the U.S. and Canada as well.)
- 48 Hour Guaranteed Availability Titanium and Ambassador members can book sold out hotels 48 hours or more in advance (at a premium rate).
- Guaranteed lounge access and welcome gift for Platinum members and above. The welcome gift choice includes breakfast at most properties where there’s no lounge. Hotel penalty runs $25 – $100 depending on the brand.
While these guarantees were suspended some hotels refused to honor Platinum member breakfast, even where restaurants were open – a Platinum could buy breakfast, but wouldn’t receive their breakfast elite benefit. One example of this is the Key West Marriott.
It’s another matter where local regulations forbid hotels from offering restaurant breakfast, and they substituted ‘to go’ offerings.
Marriott announced in the Marriott Insiders Facebook group today that their elite guarantees have been restored.
Good afternoon Insiders!
In the spirit of sharing breaking program news here first, we’re excited to share another update with you today regarding our Elite Benefit Guarantees.
We are reinstating the elite guarantee compensation which had been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Please note that based on day-to-day business conditions at individual hotels and/or government regulations, properties may offer a breakfast alternative when lounges and restaurants are closed such as grab and go or credit for food and beverage purchases on property. As always, the Lounge and Welcome Gift elite benefit depends on brand and geographic regions.
This change takes effect today, January 11, 2021.
Enforcement of benefits like breakfast have been inconsistent at best across Marriott, so some hotels may still give you a stale bagel and call that your meal. But the intention here is to revert to the status quo before the pandemic, which was certainly better for members and guests than what it’s been the past 9 months.
There are numerous ways hotels have worked to get out of guarantees in the past, but I’ve claimed real cash from Marriott properties before when guaranteed benefits have been denied. And that makes it less attractive for hotels to continue to deny those benefits. So knowing that the promised guarantees are no longer suspended is helpful for Marriott elites everywhere.